Burrishoole Civil Parish and the Incidence of the Gahagan (Goaghan, Goghan, Gaughan, Geoghegan) Surname in Griffith's Valuation, County Mayo, Ireland

Burrishoole Civil Parish falls within Burrishoole Barony and is part of Burrishoole/Newport Roman Catholic Parish. Burrishoole Roman Catholic Parish was formed in 1872. (Mitchell, 1988, p. 88). Available records for this Catholic Parish cover the years 1872-1920 on microfilm numbers 1279207, 979699 and 926220. Unfortunately this is a rather late start to Parish records compared to others in County Mayo. When the Griffith's valuation was conducted in 1855, there were Roman Catholic Chapels in the Townland of Newfield, and one in the Town of Newport that is incorporated in to the Townland of Newport on Barrackhill. Finally there was a Church of undocumented affiliation in the Town of Newport (Newport Townland) on Church Lane. Graveyards were present in the Town of Newport (Newport Townland) on Church Lane, in the Townlands of Carrowkeel and Kilbride.

The Town of Newport is incorporated into three different Townlands: Newport, Carrowbaun and Sandymount. I have created a specific page on the Town of Newport in my County Market Towns section. When the Griffith's Valuation was conducted for Burrishoole Civil Parish in 1855, there were 172 Townlands including the named, occupied islands of Clew Bay, Bella Cragher Bay and Furnace Lough. This is one of the largest Civil Parishes that I have covered in County Mayo. Newport-Pratt is another name for Newport you will sometimes see used; however, this name wasn't noted in Griffith's Valuation.

Fairs were being held in the Town of Newport-Pratt as early as 1750. Sir Neil O'Donel applied for and obtained a patent for markets and fairs in 1787. (Gillespie; Crawford, 1987, p. 89). When the Statistical Survey of County Mayo was conducted in 1802, Newport-Pratt was documented as having a Market for Grain, a market for Cattle four times a year, and fairs were held on June 8, August 2 and December 20. (McParlan, 1802; 2007, p. 37, 46-51). Newport was one of County Mayo's premier market towns in the 19th century.

From a commercial standpoint, this Civil Parish seems to have more than most. As I mentioned earlier, there are three Townlands that compose the Town of Newport: Carrowbaun, Sandymount and Newport. The Townland of Carrowbaun is home to a Gate lodge and the Town of Newport within its borders has the Guardians of Newport Union Dispensary and a plantation. The Townland of Sandymount section of Newport has a Corn Store and a Plantation. The Townland of Newport section of Newport is far and away the largest and most active area in this Parish. There is a Hotel on Main Street, Corn Stores and an office (store) on Store Lane, a Cornstore, Plantation, Revenue Police Barrack and Constabulary Force Barrack and the Grand Jury of County Mayo Petty Sessions House on Castlebar Road, a Corn Store and Building Ground on Barrackhill, 2 forges on George's Street, a Forge and Building Ground on Newbridge Lane and Corn Stores, Salt Stores and the Tolls and Customs of Markets and Fairs on Quay Road. The Townland of Barrackhill had a Corn Mill, Miller's House, Flour Mill, Flax Sleeping House and Sheds and in the Townland of Derryloughan Beg the Guardians of the Poor of Newport Union Workhouse. The Townland of Furnace had Corn and Tuck Mills, the Townland of Mallaranny had a Constabulary Force Barracks, Murrevagh had a Tuck Mill, Teevemore and Newfield had Orchards and there was a plantation at Cahergal. Newport River is listed as having a Salmon Fishery as did Lough Feeagh and Furnace Lough. Herd's Houses were present in the Townlands of Carncloon Beg, Carrickaneady, Carrowmore, Caulicaun, Derrintaggart, Derrybrock, Derrycleetagh, Derrygarve, Derryloughan East, Derryloughan More, Drumbrastle West, Clenlara, Inishquirk, Kiltarnaght, Knockmanus, Knockmoyle, Lettermaghera North and South, Rosmore, Skerdagh Upper, Teevaloughan, Treanbeg and Treanlaur. This is a significantly large number of Herd's Houses that would seem to indicate that there is a fair amount of pasture/grazing area in Burrishoole Civil Parish. The area around Newport was acknowledged as a quality Sheep-grazing region.

As far as education goes, there were Board of Education National Schoolhouses in the Townlands of Carrowbaun (Town of Newport), Cuilmore, Derradda, Knockmoyle, Mallaranny and Treanbeg. There was a Parochial Schoolhouse in the Townland of Carrowbaun (Town of Newport), a Presbyterian Schoolhouse in the Townland of Newport (Town of Newport) and Schoolhouses in Mallaranny and Rosgalliv. Samuel Lewis referred to a "Hedge School" being present in Carrig-a-neady. (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 233). I am assuming that this is an alternative spelling for the Townland of Carrickaneady.

I didn't see any designated "Bog" parcels in this Civil Parish but Samuel Lewis describes Burrishoole Civil Parish as having "a large tract of mountain and bog, about 2/3 of which are reclaimable." (Lewis, 1837; 1984, p. 232). One thing I noticed is that there are a really large number of unoccupied parcels in this Civil Parish (more than I have noted in others).

There were many different Landlords represented in Burrishoole Civil Parish but Sir Rd O'Donnel Bt, Capt A. W. Wyndham, Henry J Smith Junior, Sir W. Roger Palmer Bart and the Marquis of Sligo were the most prevalent. When Hussey De Burgh compiled his "Landowners of Ireland" in 1878 (which covered landlords owning over 500 acres), the Marquis of Sligo (a.k.a. George John Browne, 3rd Marquis) was listed as holding 114,881 acres in County Mayo and his County Mayo residence was listed as Westport House in Westport. Sir W. Roger Palmer Bt was listed as holding 80,990 acres in County Mayo, 9,579 acres in County Sligo and 4,202 in Dublin. Sir Rd. O'Donnel Bt (I am assuming that this is Richard Annesley O'Donnel Bt was listed as having Newport House as his residence in the Town of Newport. He held 7,488 acres in County Mayo. I was unable to find any information on this resource on Capt. A. W. Wyndham or Henry T Smith Junior. (De Burgh, 1878; 2007, p. 348, 361, 415).

The population of Burrishoole Civil Parish dropped significantly during and after the peak famine years. In 1841 there were 11,942 people living in Burrishoole Civil Parish, dropping to 7,528 in 1851. By the year 1911 there were only 4,226 people living in this area. (O'hara, 1982, p.7).

There were two individuals with the Gaughan Surname documented in Burrishoole Civil Parish when the Griffith's Valuation was conducted in 1855: Mark Gaughan in the Townland of Rosgalliv and Mark Gaughan in the Townland of Newfield. These two townlands are right next to each other in Burrishoole Civil Parish. What I find of interest in these two Mark Gaughans is that Mark Gaughan in Newfield only owns land. Is he the same Mark Gaughan that lives in the next Townland over (Rosgalliv). Mark Gaughan owns a land and a house in Rosgalliv. There were no notations as such made in the Griffith's Valuation, just something to ponder.

There is one caveat to keep in mind when looking at these findings from the Griffith's Valuation: The Griffith's Valuation only includes the individuals (occupiers) who own, lease or rent a parcel. For instance it will list a householder but not the individuals who live with him. It was common in County Mayo for individuals to share parcels, particularly of land (The Rundale system of communal land sharing). Sometimes the whole town shared one parcel of land. Shared parcels may or may not be with related individuals. Just because an individual is a lone occupier of a parcel does not mean that he is living in (house) or tilling (garden) this parcel alone. He may have numerous family members living with him, but they will not be listed unless they actually lease or own the parcel. Occupiers who sublet their acreage of land or houses to others will be listed as landlords.

For helpful details on how to interpret the following records, please take a look at the page I created on "Deciphering Griffith's Valuation."

Townland Map Ref Number Occupier Landlord or his Rep Property Type Area in Acres, Roods and Perches - a-r-p Total Valuation in pounds, shillings and pence Shared with (other occupiers)
Newfield 3 Gaughan, Mark Smith Junior, Henry J Land 5-1-35 1-0-0 none
Rosgalliv 22a Gaughan, Mark Smith Junior, Henry J House and land 3-2-32 1-0-0 none

(Griffith, 1847-1864; 2003, Burrishoole).